Cyanogen Inc. has come off as feisty ever since it was founded, but in the last few months CEO Kirt McMaster has gotten downright aggressive. We've known for a while the company wants to make Android more independent of Google, but McMaster told Forbes recently that Cyanogen Inc. "is putting a bullet through Google’s head." What's that all about? As a hint of its bullet/head strategy, McMaster announced that Cyanogen will partner with Blu to release a phone later this year without any Google services.
Square released Cash a while back to make it easier to send and receive money on your mobile device, but now it's even easier with "$Cashtags." Get it? It's like a hashtag, but for money. You know some marketing manager was giddy after coming up with that. It's not all fun and games, though. Cash now also supports businesses with an option called Cash Pro.
Keep your eyes peeled for major changes to the Photos app and experience this week. A little birdie tells us that Google is preparing to shake things up, and all could be revealed in a few days. The changes will reportedly involve Photos and the associated auto-backup features currently built into Google+. What could it be?
Amazon has been giving away one paid app for free each day since the Appstore launched in 2011. It hasn't been the rousing success Amazon probably hoped for, but the Appstore is still doing okay with about 400,000 listings. Now, the company is rumored to be prepping a big project called Unlocked to generate more interest in the Appstore. It's basically Amazon Prime for apps.
According to the internal presentation leaked to TechCrunch, Unlocked will offer paid apps and games at absolutely no charge.
The problem with designing a feature around other services is that you only have control over your end. If the other guy changes something, you have to be ready to fix any issues that crop up. Such is the case with HTC's BlinkFeed stream. A recent change to Facebook caused social updates to stop appearing in BlinkFeed, but now HTC has released an app that should solve the problem.
On the off chance you've got Android Auto in your vehicle, you might be interested to know there's a developer mode built-in. Even if you don't have Android Auto yet, you might still be vaguely interested in an abstract sort of way. You can access it through the Android app and it only takes a few taps.
Maxellus makes some of the coolest live wallpapers on Android including the Galaxy Pack and Space Colony. The latest wallpaper from this developer is of a darker sort—prepare to watch as massive asteroids fall toward the surface of a vulnerable planet. The wallpaper is called Armageddon, of course.
As with all Maxellus live wallpapers, Armageddon has a ton of options for different elements. You can change the backdrop, asteroid type, and the planet they are perpetually about to crash into.
Google has finally pushed an official Android Auto app to the Play Store that will allow Lollipop phones to work with the first few head units and cars with support for the platform. It only works on phones running 5.0 or higher, and is pretty much useless without a compatible Android Auto system—you probably don't have one of those.